MEVIT4117 – Contemporary TV fiction

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

There has never been produced more fictional content for television than now. In the US alone, there will be over 500 shows airing this year. We are, indeed, in what television executive Charles Landgraf have termed ‘peak TV.’ Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon compete along traditional broadcast networks and cable networks. The internet allows a flood of television content to be watched at any time, in every space, all around the world. The overflow of television and web television also allow for new and more diverse voices to be heard and global content to be available.

This course will explore the era of ‘Peak TV’ and ask what characterizes TV in the digital, peak TV era? The course will explore the technological, economical and institutional contexts that are the basis for ‘peak TV’. It will also focus on the specific programs and fan cultures which is produced. The course will understand television as a cultural form looking into television as a feminized form and television intersectionality. Through key television theory as well as the most recent research in the field of television studies this course will seek to understand our time’s most important fictional form. The class will also focus on practical skills and offer training in digital dissemination.

The course will seek to answer:

  • How can we conceptualize contemporary television fiction today?
  • What stylistic and narrative tropes and traits characterize the programs of ‘peak TV’
  • How does the recent developments in television technologies and industry affect television aesthetics, representation and reception culture?
  • How can television be said to be feminized medium?
  • How does recent technological and cultural developments affect television as a global and local medium?

Learning outcome

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Conduct a textual analysis of a television program apprehending relevant theory.
  • Develop a critical understanding of various analytical and theoretical approaches to contemporary television fiction.
  • Discuss theoretical concepts such as complex TV and peak TV
  • Understand television in an ideological, institutional and cultural perspective
  • Critically evaluate and analyze television fiction as a contemporary aesthetic and cultural expression.
  • Conceptualize and produce a television themed podcast

All students passing the exam will have achieved the learning outcomes. The mark indicates the degree of achievement.

The course will be relevant to students who want to pursue further study of contemporary television fiction as well as work with television fiction in a teaching capacity and/or in other professional endavors, where such knowledge is needed, such as television production, cultural work or journalistically.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

International applicants, if you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

Admission as master student, with a Bachelor´s Degree in Media Studies or equivalent.

The examination in this course is not available for external candidates. Only students admitted to the course may sit for the examination.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.

It is however highly advisable that the students have obtained fundamental textual analytical skills and knowledge of central theoretical perspectives in the humanities (for example MEVIT2532, MEVIT3526 MEVIT3510/4510 and EST3010.

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The teaching will consist of a lecture-seminar mix and group work. We expect the students to have read the suggested texts before the lectures and seminar, and that they will actively participate in the teaching.

This course has three (3) compulsory activities. In order to qualify for the exam, students will have to complete the following:

  • Minimum 75% attendance to seminars (5 out of 7 seminars)
  • A mandatory oral presentation of syllabus text.
  • A group produced podcast on a television theme.

All compulsory activities must be completed in order to qualify for the exam.

Obligatory activities and absence

It is the student's own responsibility to stay informed about the obligatory activities, comply with the requirements for attendance and to uphold deadlines. Everyone must familiarize themselves with the rules concerning obligatory activities at the Faculty of Humanities. If you get ill or have other valid reasons for being absent from obligatory activities, you must apply for a leave of absence as soon as possible and no later than the day of absence or the deadline. Documentation of the absence must be sent to the institute within three working days. 


The exam for this course is a term paper of up to ten (10) pages, where each page is calculated to approximately 2300 characters excluding spaces. The page count does not include the front page, literature list/bibliography or appendices. 

The obligatory activities must be fulfilled to be able to hand in the term paper.

See also the department's exam information

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


Periodic evaluation Autumn 2010 (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course






Spring 2021

Spring 2020

Spring 2019


Spring 2021

Spring 2020

Spring 2019

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